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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, and thank you in advance for reading. Thanks a TON for any responses.

This project is a 2000 RG470 (MiJ, basswood,Wizard II rosewood, V8/S1/V7, Lo-TRS, New Penny color). I love the neck and body shape. I hate the tone and sustain.

Since it's built to be a shredder, that's the direction I'm heading with it. I'm not going to try and make it sound like a Telecaster, or anything like that. Also, I prefer warm/thicker tone versus bright/ear piercing. (But I love it loud)

Here's what I've come up with so far:

DiMarzio Tone Zone - bridge
DiMarzio Chopper - middle
DiMarzio LiquiFire - neck
Gotoh GE1996T + Tremel-no - bridge
Dress the frets
*Upgrade anything else that will make a noticeable difference

Here's what I'm wondering about:

1. Locking nut and machine heads - replace? Gotoh charges another $35 for a nut w/15" radius and 1 11/16" neck width. Stock lockers have slight grooves worn in them. What effect will replacing the locking nut have? How about replacing the stock machine heads? What effect will that have?

2. Electronics - 500k pots stock. Would 250k pots work better with the basswood body? I don't want super-shiny bright, but I don't want funeral-dull either.

3. Electronics - 5 way switch. I'm thinking I'll stick with a 5 way switch and forget about coil taps. The way I see it, whether I'm on the neck or bridge, switching toward the Chopper in the middle should brighten the tone a bit. Is there an upgrade for a stock Ibanez 5 way switch? I mean, is there anything I can do with the switch to improve tone?

4. Electronics - Input/output jack. Same question - If it works, can it get better? Is this something that either just works or just doesn't?

Thanks again 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
btw... I've been doing woodworking and carpentry for years, so I'm not afraid of anything... I like electronics as well...
 

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For the pups, I'd go with a TZ in the bridge and and Air Norton in the neck. For the middle, you might like the HS-3.
Are you dead-set on a Gotoh trem? I'd do the mod in the link I sent you to swap for an original Edge. I wouldn't change the tuners. Keep the 500K pots. The stock 5-way switch is a typical import YM-50, and really limits your wiring options. You could go with a multi-pole 5-way to give more options to wire for splitting, etc.
 

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Sounds good to me. Leave the tuners as is, after all you've got a locking nut that holds the strings in tune. I'd save yourself a bit of potential hassle and buy a replacement Ibanez locking nut to avoid any compatibility issues.

Stick with 500K pots, and if the switch and jack are working fine use them. The Tone Zone will be big and thick anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For the pups, I'd go with a TZ in the bridge and and Air Norton in the neck. For the middle, you might like the HS-3.
Are you dead-set on a Gotoh trem? I'd do the mod in the link I sent you to swap for an original Edge. I wouldn't change the tuners. Keep the 500K pots. The stock 5-way switch is a typical import YM-50, and really limits your wiring options. You could go with a multi-pole 5-way to give more options to wire for splitting, etc.
Thanks AlaskaBat. I originally thought Air Norton, and the HS-3 has been a strong consideration as well. The Petrucci solo on dimarzio.com sold me on the Liquifire and the Chopper seems like a good idea to add a little bit of brightness to the humbuckers in 2/4 positions. BUT: I've never done this before. I have no idea how any 3 pickups will sound together. Will your pickup choices have more even volume when switching between them? Will my selections make for too drastic of a change when switching to 2/4?

I'm not dead-set on the Gotoh, I chose that so I wouldn't have to rout the cavity. If the Edge is that much better for about the same price, I'd have no problem machining the body for it.

I'll look into the multi-pole switch and wiring options, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds good to me. Leave the tuners as is, after all you've got a locking nut that holds the strings in tune. I'd save yourself a bit of potential hassle and buy a replacement Ibanez locking nut to avoid any compatibility issues.
Makes sense, seems like the nut should be routine maintenance anyway.

Stick with 500K pots, and if the switch and jack are working fine use them. The Tone Zone will be big and thick anyway.
Again, I like the idea of not replacing anything I don't have to. Thanks!
 

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I believe the Gotoh is better than the Edge. Better tone due to steel baseplate an saddles, etc. Brass sustain block is so much better than the pot metal Edge unit. Best trem arm design too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It my be bold, but Suhr guitars agree with me. ;)

Gotoh also made the Edge/Lo Pro/Edge Pro for Ibanez. They know how to build a good trem. Their own model is made of better quality materials.
I'm going with the Gotoh :grin:. I played an Edge on an RG520 today, and loved it, but I don't want to spend an extra $100+ and have to do a bunch of extra work to the perfectly good body.

I also read the Suhr quotes when he was ripping the OFR (before they made the switch).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For the pups, I'd go with a TZ in the bridge and and Air Norton in the neck. For the middle, you might like the HS-3.
Are you dead-set on a Gotoh trem? I'd do the mod in the link I sent you to swap for an original Edge. I wouldn't change the tuners. Keep the 500K pots. The stock 5-way switch is a typical import YM-50, and really limits your wiring options. You could go with a multi-pole 5-way to give more options to wire for splitting, etc.
Definitely going with the HS-3. No need to kill sustain with a high powered middle. Not quite sure about Air Norton vs. LiquiFire yet. I'm leaning toward dumping the stock 5 way so I can separate the coils on the hums. Why not if it's just a matter of figuring out wiring and buying a switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I believe the Gotoh is better than the Edge. Better tone due to steel baseplate an saddles, etc. Brass sustain block is so much better than the pot metal Edge unit. Best trem arm design too.
I do like the "arms" that hug the posts on the Edge. Plus, it's a really thick bridge all around. Almost a one of a kind trem. Seems like the extra mass would make up for the giant brass block in the Gotoh (sustain-wise). I'm still going to give the Gotoh a whirl.
 

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Its not just the brass block. I believe that Hardened steel all over is better for tone than pot metal coated with a hardened outer coating. My second favourite trem is the Edge, and its a close second, but I do believe the Gotoh is better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For the pups, I'd go with a TZ in the bridge and and Air Norton in the neck. For the middle, you might like the HS-3.
Are you dead-set on a Gotoh trem? I'd do the mod in the link I sent you to swap for an original Edge. I wouldn't change the tuners. Keep the 500K pots. The stock 5-way switch is a typical import YM-50, and really limits your wiring options. You could go with a multi-pole 5-way to give more options to wire for splitting, etc.
Going with Tone Zone / HS-3 / Air Norton. The lesser magnetic effect of the Air Norton vs LiquiFire and the fact that I want to sound like me, not Petrucci, was the deciding factor.

Thanks everyone!
 
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